Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

These Pets Interrupting Yoga Prove Annoying Can Be Adorable

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Watch our compilation above and see why every yogi should own a pet for the ultimate yoga challenge.

I’m beginning a new book

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Many of us came from dysfunctional families. I knew mine was that, but have been realizing more and more just how seriously dysfunctional it is.

When people extol their mothers I have long kept my mouth shut, partly because I believed the dominant story that my dad was the primary bad guy. And partly because many folks become upset at negative comments about someone’s mother. Even more than fathers, mothers are supposed to be sacred, givers of life and unconditional love.

It’s become apparent that my mother was far worse, and, together with her mother and my sister Diane, brought out the worst in him.

You have to go through the pain before you can ever get to healing. Now that Diane has completed her brainwashing of our mother and stolen all her money and goods, is the time to lay it all bare. I’ve changed names of those outside the family.  But the rest is true.   I would remind the litigious that truth is its own defense.

Here is the beginning of the book.  I’ll add more as the work progresses. I know that many of us Boomers are realizing that we have serious problems in our families, now that our parents are infirm and the entire family line is threatened by the viper in our midst.

 

By a Thousand Cuts

Some women murder their children at birth. Some kill them over a lifetime.

     For a brief moment glimpsing what a mess she’d made of her family by coddling our sister Diane, Mother turned to our little sister, Vickie. It was to Vickie and her family that she fled when Diane’s rages and obsessions got out of hand. “I’m a bad Mother,” she lamented, sitting at the table sharing some baked chicken, potatoes, and salad with Vickie’s family, since Diane refused to feed her again. She hoped to find consolation in her youngest child, on whom she’d always relied to drive her to doctor’s appointments, lawyers, even to see me in Denver. Diane was too busy applying mascara, eyeliner, and foundation, bleaching and curling her hair (Mother’s mom always told her how pretty she was, especially in pink when she was still a natural blonde with rag curls), taking care of the hoards of cats she’d adopted—and running after men she’d taken a fancy to, placing anonymous notes on their windshields. Even more time consuming was her obsessing over all who’d done her wrong—the list was long—such as, Dr. Pettigrew, who killed her cats by incompetence, the prominent veterinary school which killed her dog by incorrect diagnosis. Or so she convinced herself—and everyone who would listen.

“No, you’re a good mother,” Vickie said, calming Mother’s anxieties as a faithful daughter is expected to do. She tried to overlook the smell of cat urine that permeated Mother’s delft blue sequined top and navy pants.

I heard about the incident from Vickie the next day after Mother had left. Over the last several years, I’d begun to tell Vickie I thought she ought to agree when Mother sought reassurance, hoping that at last she might wake up and do something instead of pretending everything would be fine—until Diane’s next rampage. She knew better. Her doctors, her knowledgeable friends—even the aging family lawyer—had warned that Diane would only get worse, her rages and machinations more central and deadly with age.

Although our parents had sent her to a junior college and two different universities, she’d never finished a college degree. She’d had only a couple of short-term jobs, one part-time in her early twenties. She even got canned from a job with Social Services, something everyone heard was next to impossible. Instead, she relied on our mother for housing and income. Nevertheless, she still complained that Mother “had kept her in near poverty her whole life and she was going to do something about it.” She was always “going to do something about everything that violated her.” Her life was a motley weave of plots, missed opportunities, and deep resentments.

I’m just glad she didn’t meet us at a restaurant. I’m sick of people writing on their FB pages about having to get up and leave when “the cat ladies” arrive because they can’t stand the smell. I don’t think they realize they’re talking about my mother and sister.”

As for me, I was steadily being written out of the family by a Mother who could never have been said to be supportive, although she had not been overtly sabotaging. Now, my mother is ninety-four and in failing health. The life script we all participate in writing is as if Mother never had an eldest child, a son, just as Diane plotted. She demanded the spotlight, to be master of every ring in the circus she was directing, often setting me up to be physically and verbally abused by our dad— while she was protected by our mom whenever I would protest and tell them that often what had gotten me into trouble was Diane’s idea. For Diane to lie and fault me for something she did was not unusual.

Humans Will Learn Languages ‘By Taking A Pill’

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Founder of the MIT Media Lab Nicholas Negroponte says that humans will “soon” be able to learn languages — or any information — by taking a pill.

In a new TED talk the famed futurist and innovator essentially played a highlights reel of all the times he’s been right about the future over the years.

Thane he got to the meat of his new prediction — that within 30 years humans will be able to literally “ingest” information.

More.

Why Heterosexuality Didn’t Really Exist Until the 19th Century

Monday, July 21st, 2014

[Hanne] Blank mentions her personal story at the beginning of her provocative new history of heterosexuality, “Straight,” as a way of illustrating just how artificial our notions of “straightness” really are. In her book, Blank, a writer and historian who has written extensively about sexuality and culture, looks at the ways in which social trends and the rise of psychiatry conspired to create this new category in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Along the way, she examines the changing definition of marriage, which evolved from a businesslike agreement into a romantic union centered on love, and how social Darwinist ideas shaped the divisions between gay and straight. With her eye-opening book, Blank tactfully deconstructs a facet of modern sexuality most of us take for granted.

More.

This Is How You Can Get People To Make Better Decisions For Future Generations

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Albert Einstein once said: “Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals.” Alas, when it comes to joining together to conserve Earth’s resources and protect our planet for future generations, we humans have proven to be a decidedly uncooperative lot.

“There has been a great deal of work on how people cooperate with those they see every day –- their colleagues or friends,” Dr. Martin Nowak, professor of mathematics and biology at Harvard University, said in a written statement. “But an open question is how people cooperate with future generations. How do you make altruistic decisions today that benefit people tomorrow?”

For those who worry that we’ll never come together to protect our planet, a provocative new study involving game theory, conducted by Nowak and a colleague at Yale University, offers a glimmer of hope.

More.

People grieve because they love.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

From the Forever Family Foundation. I agree.

Traditional therapies are oriented to disconnect the bereaved from the ones they have lost, yet inside, that love tells them not to let go.

Could this be because our loved ones are still with us?

Frostie, Baby Goat Who Ditched His Wheelchair For Dancing, Is Cutest Thing To Hit The Internet

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Read article and watch video.

I recently read that Frostie has died. Poor thing. His short life was good toward the end.

Gardening: from Gary Scott’s 26 May newsletter

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Words of wisdom from Gary A. Scott (http://www.garyascott.com/):

Many readers cannot abide exercise for the sake of exercise itself. This becomes really boring to them. They have to find ways to exercise that have a context beyond reinforcing limberness, stamina and good health. They need a motivation and a reason to perform the exercise. I fall into this category and this is one reason I love gardening and our micro agri businesses.

Working in the garden provides fresh food as it eases stress, keeps a person limber, as the process refreshes the mind.

A Dutch study shows that gardening is one of the best ways to fight stress.

Two groups of people were instructed to either read indoors or garden for 30 minutes. Afterward, the group that gardened reported being in a better mood than the reading group. The gardeners also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The human mind has a boundary called limited channel capacity. The brain can only take in limited amounts of information at a time. Passing the limits creates irritability, increased errors, distractions, stress, decreased efficiency and less productivity.

University of Michigan researchers found that the capacity can be renewed by engaging in “involuntary attention,” an effortless form of attention such as planting, pruning, mowing, digging and other forms of gardening.

The senses become balanced when we are in a natural environment. Easy, repetitive, action are sources of effortless attention.

A Norwegian study found that over half the people studied with depression and other emotional and mental disorders experienced a measurable improvement in their symptoms after spending six hours a week growing flowers and vegetables for three months. The benefits continued three months after the gardening program ended.

Part of the benefits may be based on the chemistry of gardening. Mice injected with Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil, had an increases in the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood — much like serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do.

The theory is that modern living reduces the amount of friendly bacteria in the system and this reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. Gardening helps put the bacteria back.

Gardening introduces fresh air, sunshine and requires many different movements that provide flexibility and stamina as excellent forms of low-impact exercise.

Two separate studies that followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years found, respectively, that those who gardened regularly had a 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners, even when a range of other health factors were taken into account.

Plus food from the garden is the freshest of all!

Loss Group forming

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Starting a group for people who’ve lost their animal and/or human companions and need help dealing with it. Denver. Please spread the word. 303-650-0610

7 Ways Books Can Change Your Life

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Himay Zepeda Often times, during a dark hour or an idle point, a book has changed my life. There are countless books that have pointed me in a different direction, or taught me a lesson. There are also many books that have helped me articulate my own emotions or thoughts, helped me find a voice. If it weren’t for the books I’ve read, I’d be a very different man today…I’d even argue I’d be less of a man.

Books, especially good ones, have that sort of power. If you let them, they can change your life, serve as another compass or guide, or give you a lift when you need it most. I’m sure you can think of at least one book that fundamentally changed you as a human being.

For all of us who’ve felt this transformation, or for anybody who hopes to find that in a good book, this is for you. Here are some of the ways reading a book can change your life.

More.

Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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